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Invasive Fly Now Laying Eggs in Strawberries, But a 2-Ingredient Wash Flushes Them Out

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An invasive fly is laying eggs in some of America’s favorite produce. Thankfully, all it takes is a simple wash to flush most of these creepy-crawlies out.

Although the spotted wing drosophila flies have been in the United States for over a decade, social media posts recording wriggly maggots crawling from strawberries propelled the insects to internet stardom last month.

To goad the creatures out of their sugary homes, the strawberries must first be soaked in a solution of warm water and salt.

The wash flushes out the small white maggots of the invasive flies, as well as any other bugs hitching a ride on the produce.

When this was discovered, the trend quickly went viral on TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook.

Trending:
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@im_y0ur_g1rlYUCK never eating strawberries again ##yuck ##starwberrieswithbugs TRY THIS OR EAT THEM WITH BUGSS EWWW##tiktok♬ original sound – shaynes_world

The videos have racked up millions of views across multiple platforms.

For now, it seems this invasive pest might be an unavoidable problem in some areas.

Will you test your produce with this method?

Sriyanka Lahiri, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, says that the tiny bugs’ eggs can escape detection by even the sharpest farmers and grocers.

“This species is able to make a very fine incision that can’t be seen with a naked eye and lays its eggs in there,” Lahiri, a strawberry and small-crop entomologist, told USA Today. “When the picker gets the fruit, they can’t even see that there’s an egg because it’s deep in the fruit.”

The eggs survive with the help of a breathing tube that extends to the fruit’s skin.

The flies don’t have to rely solely on strawberries either, but are able to lay the next generation of pests inside of a wide variety of produce.

But saltwater washes force any larvae inside the fruit to escape for fear of dehydration.

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While these creepy insects might already be in your store-bought produce (and possibly even your home garden), there’s little danger in accidentally consuming them.

Lahiri claimed it would be like “having some extra animal protein in your diet.”

What should concern consumers more, according to Lahiri, is any residual pesticide coating produce. All it takes is water to wash these chemicals off, however.

So far, 2020 has been difficult enough with a plague, civil unrest, and murder hornets. Having to worry about maggots in strawberries might be asking too much of some people.

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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
Location
Arkansas
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Military, firearms, history




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